Who doesn’t love to travel? We miss traveling just like many of you and it’s in our bucket list to travel again once COVID-19 is over! There are so many great experiences you can have! Being able to travel and open your mind is important, but it has to be done responsibly. If you don’t support local communities and behave in a respectful way when you’re abroad or even in your home country, it can have a negative effect on the country you travel to, and no-one wants that!
In this post, we’ll take a look at 6 ways that you can be a more sustainable traveller. Not only will it make you appreciate travel in a different way, but it will also help the location and the communities you visit. So, let’s take a closer look!
Learn about local cultures and traditions
One of the most important parts of travelling is to broaden your mind. And what better way to do this than learn about local cultures and traditions different from your own? It’s easy to immerse yourself in a new culture without even realising you’re doing it. Try local food (ideally with fresh ingredients from the source), enjoy traditional performances such as singing and dancing, and if you must by souvenirs, get them at an artisanal market.
Remember, it’s always good to learn the basics of a language, wherever you are travelling to. Locals will appreciate hearing Hello, thank you, and goodbye in their own language!
Getting involved in local life is one of the most rewarding ways to be a more sustainable traveller!
Live in a community environment
The easiest way to learn about local cultures and traditions mentioned above is by staying in a community, perhaps in a homestay or at a camp. Travelling is great solo, but it’s even better as a shared experience. So, if you’re embracing a new culture with other people you’ll be learning together! When you’re living in the community, you can get involved in activities that benefit everyone around you as well as ticking some things off your bucket list. For example, snorkelling in pristine coral reefs as you work to conserve the oceans. Being part of the community is not only a great way to be a sustainable traveller, but you can learn skills to take back to your home community!
There are so many ways that you can respect nature. Indonesia and Bali have some of the most incredible diversity on the planet, and if you travel there, you’re likely to get up close and personal with lots of wildlife. If you come across wildlife on your trip, remember that animals are entitled to the Five Freedoms both domestically and in the wild. These are freedom from hunger or thirst, freedom from discomfort, freedom from pain, injury or disease, freedom to express (most) normal behaviours, and freedom from fear and distress. These are the universally accepted principles of animal welfare, and if you’re respectful to the animals you’re likely to keep yourself safer, and them more trusting of humans. Remember, we have to share the planet with them!
Switch off your devices
Travelling is a chance to disconnect from everyday life – not everything needs to be shared on Instagram and Facebook. A few days as a digital detox will do wonders for your mental health, as you’ll be living in the moment. Those first few days without your smartphone in your hand might be a bit difficult, but at the end of a week or two, you’ll have a new-found appreciation for living right in the moment! If you don’t feel ready to completely switch off straight away, limit yourself to a certain amount of time on the internet each day. The more time you spend with those around you and in nature, the more you’ll appreciate your vacation. Who knows, maybe you’ll make friends for life… Just make sure you get their numbers or Facebook profiles so you can talk to them when you’re back hom!
Reuse and recycle
Think about what you bring and what you purchase when you’re travelling. Single use bottles take longer to biodegrade and often end up as litter in the oceans. Look at using recyclable materials where you can and dispose of it responsibly. On wilderness trails, make sure to take your rubbish back to your accommodation so that it does not disrupt any ecosystems. You can even get involved in activities such as beach clean-ups which are not only good for the environment, but are a rewarding experience with like-minded people!
Choose your trip carefully and do your research
Sustainable travel is extremely important for the travel industry to move forward while protecting the environment. That’s why it’s really important to do you research before making a decision on your next trip. After all, even though it’s sustainable when you arrive – you may have to take three flights to get to your destination. Better to take a direct flight wherever possible! At the very least, look into carbon offsetting so that you can give back to the environment. Look for centres and accommodations that are committed to responsible travel and have the best guides and programmes for you to take part in when you arrive. You should be looking for places that make a positive contribution to the people, communities, and nature around your chosen resort. That’s why a green camp is such a great idea!
So, now that you know how to be a more sustainable traveller…
It’s time to put these tips into practice! And a great place to start is Green Camp Bali. This is a chance to see a side of Bali that many travellers miss out on. The green and innovative camp is the sister entity of the Green School in Bali, providing camps for families, children, and youths from 7 – 17 years old. It helps that it’s hidden away in one of the most beautiful places in the world! You can practice all of the ways above to be a more sustainable traveller, and learn to respect nature, communities, and the world!
Bio: Travel writer, blogger, and English teacher interested in learning new languages and cultures and trying a cooking class everywhere I go! I also enjoy reading, writing, playing and watching football, and comedy.
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